Top 10 Most Memorable TV Cars

February 1st, 2007 by William

Cars.com just announced its list of the top ten most memorable TV cars. This list of course is highly influenced by the age of the people who compiled it. Judging by the list the creators were slightly older than myself. However, thanks to the invention of the re-run, most of the cars on this top ten list are permanently burned in my memory. Check out the list and the Cars.com commentary and let me know what you think.

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1) KITT, 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, “Knight Rider” - David Hasselhoff may have been the show’s star, but KITT was the main attraction. The supercomputer controlling this black Trans Am rendered it intelligent, sarcastic, bulletproof and able to jump over obstacles. The closest most of us will get to a talking car is using a navigation system.

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2) The General Lee, 1969 Dodge Charger, “The Dukes of Hazzard” - The General Lee and KITT were neck and neck for the top spot. Although the iconic orange Charger had legions of teens attempting Luke Duke’s opening-credits hood slide, KITT won out for having enough gadgets to make James Bond jealous.

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3) The Mystery Machine, “Scooby-Doo” - Not only could this multicolored van hold a quizzical Great Dane and four meddling kids, but there was also plenty of room for the Harlem Globetrotters, Don Knotts and whatever other guest stars dropped by for some ghost hunting.

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4) Ferrari 308 GTS, “Magnum, P.I.” - Thomas Magnum lives in a guest house on a gorgeous Hawaiian estate, works sporadically and drives his employer’s cherry red Ferrari whenever and wherever he wants. How great is that?

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5) Batmobile, modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept, “Batman” - Forget the various Batman movies; Adam West’s Batmobile is the one everyone remembers best. With the long fins, afterburner and assorted bat-gizmos, the Penguin never stood a chance.

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6) 1975 Ford Gran Torino, “Starsky and Hutch” - Although the Gran Torino wasn’t quite as popular as other muscle cars of its era, this “Striped Tomato” wasn’t without fans. Ford even released a limited-edition version painted to look like David Starsky’s.

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7) 1973 Chevrolet El Camino, “My Name is Earl” - This is by no means the best-looking car on the list. It’s dusty, full of trash and repaired with enough spare parts to create a multicolored mess. Still, there’s something poetic about Earl embarking on his karmic quest in a pieced-together El Camino.

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8) 1983 GMC G-Series, “The A-Team” - Who better to own a van that’s continually crashed, chased, disassembled and shot at than former military man and master mechanic B.A. Baracus?

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9) Mach 5, “Speed Racer” - This 5,000-horsepower racing machine had seven buttons on the steering wheel that could adjust road traction, slice obstacles out of the way, turn the car into a submarine and more - and that was 40 years ago.

(Could not find a picture)
10) 2005 Maserati Quattroporte, “Entourage” - If you’re lucky enough to ride Aquaman’s coattails all the way to a glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, a new Maserati is just icing on the cake. “Entourage” got a whole new generation of drivers drooling over this classy Italian exotic.

Cars.com also gave an honorable mention to The Flintmobile from “The Flintstones”, the 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible in “Nash Bridges”, the Toyota Pickup from “Baywatch”, and the Pontiac Firebird in “Rockford Files”. The honorable mention list is a little weird. I mean Nash Bridges was pretty obscure, granted Don Johnson’s wheels were cool, but why not throw on the Ferrari from Miami Vice. And I always thought the truck in Baywatch was a Ford Ranger (shows how much attention I was paying to the trucks).

As for the actual list, this is one top ten list I can almost whole-heartedly agree with. I say almost because of the “My Name is Earl” El Camino and the “Entourage” Quattroporte. Now I like a good Quattroporte or El Camino just as much as the next guy, but I don’t think the shows are big enough or old enough to have these cars on the Most Memorable TV Cars list. Maybe Cooter’s tow truck or Daisy’s Jeep from the Dukes of Hazzard could take one of those spots. And Ponch from CHP’s had a pretty memorable Firebird. Or maybe the 1966 Chrysler Imperial from the Green Hornet, or the Ninja Turtle van or the Munster mobile….I could go on and on but let’s hear what TV cars you like the best.

-Bill Mertz

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2 Responses to “Top 10 Most Memorable TV Cars”

  1. Gayle Says:

    Actually, the “Starsky and Hutch” Gran Torino was always my personal favorite. But I’m glad to see they included cars from animated series. I always loved the Mystery Machine.

    Has anyone done a list of best movie cars? I love the purple Dodge Charger from “Blade”!

  2. Elisa Says:

    I have seen a Mystery Machine in real life. In Palo Alto, CA. I had to stop and get a picture. Too bad the picture died with my phone. Sigh.

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About William

I am a twenty something car enthusiast. I spend most of my days working in a small restoration shop in Northern California that specializes in vintage Alfa Romeos. I also manage to do some freelance writing for a handful of automotive publications. When I'm not at the shop I can usually be found working on one of my own project cars, out driving on a good windy road or good jeep trail. Despite what my girlfriend says cars aren't what defines me, they are only what I do. When I have a chance I also love to go camping, play sports or generally do any type of outdoor activity. I don't take myself to seriously, so I hope you don't either.

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